Today’s confirmation of £144 million EU and Welsh Government investment to fund more than 50,000 apprenticeships in West Wales and the Valleys over the next four years has been welcomed by the organisation representing the nation’s training providers.
The Welsh Government says the investment will fund 52,000 apprenticeships, with the majority of places targeted at 16-24 year olds in construction, engineering, IT and retail. Each apprentice will have the opportunity to study qualifications from foundation level to advanced level.
First Minister Carwyn Jones also revealed that the Welsh Government would be announcing “further investment in other aspects of our apprenticeship programme in the coming weeks”.
The National Training Federation Wales (NTfW), a network of more than 100 quality assured work-based learning providers with links to 35,000 employers across Wales, welcomed the announcement but stressed that the investment was confirmation of a budgeted commitment by the Welsh Government rather than new money.
Jeff Protheroe, the NTfW’s operations manager, said: “We are delighted with the First Minister’s announcement which confirms the Welsh Government’s recent budget commitment to support apprenticeships in West Wales and the Valleys, which our members are already busy delivering.
“We look forward to an early announcement regarding apprenticeship provision in the rest of Wales, particularly as demand continues to grow across all sectors and regions.
“This news confirms the importance of apprenticeship training to the economy of Wales. We are proud that Wales has the best record in the UK for delivering high quality apprenticeships.
“The NTfW looks forward to continuing to support providers, employers, learners and the Welsh Government in delivering apprenticeships and growing capacity to meet the needs of Wales.”